To generate new knowledge in the life and environmental sciences and contribute to the sustainable management of living resources through research, education and outreach.
The Department of Life Sciences is a direct descendant of the Departments of Botany, Plant Pathology and Zoology of the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture (ICTA), founded in 1922. The Department of Plant Pathology was incorporated into the Botany Department in 1955, and the new department named the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology.
The site of ICTA became the Trinidad campus of the University College of the West Indies in 1960 and the Imperial College was transformed into the first faculty at St. Augustine, the Faculty of Agriculture. In 1968, before the move was made in 1970 to the newly completed John F. Kennedy Science Block, the Zoology Department was merged with the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology to form the Department of Biological Sciences and later the subject area of Biochemistry was added. The Department subsequently split up again into Botany, Zoology, and Biochemistry.
In 1996 they were recombined as the present Department of Life Sciences. From August 2012 the department has been part of the new Faculty of Science and Technology.
Our research thrust is in the areas of ecology and management of tropical habitats, conservation of biodiversity, biotechnology and genetic improvement and integrated management of tropical pests and parasitoids.
The DLS has a substantial research staff specialising in a number of disciplinary areas in life science, with research facilities in the major thrust areas, and encourages collaborative research and visiting scientists.
We provide consultancy services in the area of ecology and management of tropical environments, identification of plant and animal specimens, toxicology, aquaculture, microbiology, and plant tissue culture.